ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Redshirt sophomore Keaton Poole was named the 2016 Big South Conference Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as the Gardner-Webb men's cross country team earned a 7th place finish and the women's squad finished in 8th place at the Big South Cross Country Championships at Asheville Christian Academy on Friday morning.
Poole, a reshirt sophomore from Spindale, N.C., has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA with a major in Business Administration, while establishing himself as one of Gardner-Webb's top runners.
The event began with the women's 5K, where Gabrielle Cortese, who was named to the Big South Women's Cross Country All-Academic team, paced all Runnin' Bulldog runners with a time of 20:09.40 to finish in 34th place. Jenna Ford clocked in at 20:56.70 to take a 50th place finish, and was closely followed by Sydney Davis who timed in at 21:02.03 in 53rd place.
Brittany Ollivierre set a new personal-record with a time of 21:15.84, besting her previous mark by just over 1:15. Rounding out the field for GWU were Michaela Williams (21:29.81), Hannah Jones (21:35.12), and Amy Turlington (22.09.03).
Liberty took home the Big South women's cross country title, followed by High Point and Campbell.
In the men's 8K, Poole led all Gardner-Webb runners with a time of 21:16.90 to finish in 29th place. Christopher Lile crossed the line at 27:46.95 to finish in 42nd place, Ezekiel Martin clocked in at 29.12.906 to finish in 59th place, and Josh Parks finished in 61st place with a time of 29.14.06.
Campbell finished first overall to earn the Big South men's cross country crown, followed by Liberty and Radford.